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Poster: tigerbolt Date: May 10, 2007 10:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

"After I had been at Stanford two years, I was into LSD. I began to see that the books I thought were the true accounting books - my grades, how I'd done in other schools, how I'd performed at jobs, whether I had paid off my car or not - were not the true books. There were other books that were being kept, real books. In those real books is the real accounting of your life. And the mind says "Oh, this is titillating." So you want to take some more LSD and see what else is there. And soon I had the experience that anyone who's ever dabbled in psychedelics has. A big hand grabs you by the back of the neck, and you hear a voice saying, "So, you want to see the books. Okay, here are the books." And it pushes your face right down into all the cruelties and all of your meanness, all the times that you have been insensitive, intolerant, racist, sexist. It's all there, and you read it.

That's what you're really stuck with. You can't take your nose up off the books. You hate them. You hate who you are. You hate the fact that somebody has been keeping track, just as you feared. You hate it, but you can't move your arms for eight hours. Before you take any acid again, you start trying to juggle the books. You start trying to be a little better person. Then you get the surprise. The next thing that happens is that you're leaning over looking at the books, and you feel the lack of the hand at the back of your neck. The thing that was forcing you to look at the books is no longer there. There's only a big hollow, the great American wild hollow, that is scarier than hell, scarier than purgatory or Satan. It's the fact that there isn't any purgatory, there isn't any Satan. And all you've got is Sartre sitting there with his momma - harsh, bleak, worse than guilt. And if you've got courage, you go ahead and examine that hollow. That's the wilderness I've always wanted to explore, and it's connected to the idea of freedom, but it's a terrifying freedom... you can go into that hollow and still come out of it and have a positive life."

Ken Kesey

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: May 10, 2007 1:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

I never had too many experiences of self loathing.I've had a few of real lonliness and awkwardness but by and large I allways felt like it was a sort of gift giving me a glimpse of things that are there but we can't see. Even when I felt I was seeing a cosmic joke but not being let in on all of it I still laughed.

Bobby had a similar quote in High Times a long time ago.He stated that the thing with LSD is that you have to be prepared to face yourself and you had better like what you saw or be prepared to change things.

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Poster: BryanE Date: May 10, 2007 1:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

I've known a number of people who got enormous enjoyment out of Grateful Dead concerts without a speck of drugs in their systems at all, and that's how it should have been, at least for them, in that the music itself provided every bit of a high that they ever wanted. But for those of us who did take acid at shows, Dead concerts were just about perfect for that stuff, which, ironically, is exactly how it should have been, as well, considering their nascent "performances," i.e., the Acid Tests. They created the framework of their presentation as a part of the LSD culture and through that, learned of the infinite possibilities of the music they were formulating. While Ken describes that "hollow" as being patently frightening and world-rocking, it was also a place in which one could be exposed to a previously unimagined and complex beauty, a perspective rife with converse fearlessness about one's potential for thought and creativity. Granted, there was little, if any creativity on the part of audience members beyond their willingness to follow the Dead's explorational lead for an evening, but after all, we were really there just enjoyin' the ride anyway. Not unlike what Kesey said, the acid could make that ride damned frightening at times, too. But the band always brought us safely home, with songs like Sugar Magnolia and Good Lovin' providing us with a cozy place to park and stretch our legs after the journey.

The acid without the kindness of a Grateful Dead concert for your poor addled brain? Now we're talking a scary wilderness that could be despicably short of leniency toward weaknesses within your self-image, and once you went through that looking glass, things would never be quite the same. That was a book that could be a harsh and painful read, but once you've been through it cover-to-cover, like the man said, you could take from it a positivity that could be carried with you through your life. Then again, there's Loudon Wainwright's advice, too:

So next time you wanna go out there
When you feel like feeding your head
Think twice before dropping acid
Hold out for mushrooms instead!

This post was modified by BryanE on 2007-05-10 20:22:12

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: May 10, 2007 11:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

"There's only a big hollow, the great American wild hollow, that is scarier than hell, scarier than purgatory or Satan."

Damn. And now he's on our forum...


Seriously, Kesey was a great writer. Thanks for sharing this.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: May 10, 2007 11:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

damn, you beat me to it

(damn clients interrupting me - lol)

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: May 10, 2007 11:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

Yeah! Back to work, you slacker!

Day going well. buddy?

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: May 10, 2007 11:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

can't complain, can't complain my friend :)

hope yours went well also and that you are enjoying a fine evening (hopefully relaxing)

at least the weather here has finally realized it is actually spring and is not supposed to be 40 degrees anymore.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: May 10, 2007 11:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

Just starting to unwind. Had a nice piece of salmon for dinner. Going to pour myself a drink and forget work until the morning comes. Finding it hard to type with one of the cats trying to walk across the keyboard - ah bliss!

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Poster: rastamon Date: May 10, 2007 2:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

glad the weather is warming dire, I've had a vast herd of Berkeley cows (cows in Berkeley?)ruminating and sending global warming your way :)

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Poster: bluedevil Date: May 10, 2007 11:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

Fantastic quote - thank you. He nails it.

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Poster: amosearle Date: May 10, 2007 1:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

"That's the wilderness I've always wanted to explore, and it's connected to the idea of freedom, but it's a terrifying freedom... you can go into that hollow and still come out of it and have a positive life."

We could use a Kesey to help write about the way for our modern path to a positive life in light of some of the terrifying freedom we're spending so much $ on these days.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: May 10, 2007 12:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

among the many thoughts this writing provokes - if you want to change anything, start with yourself

thanx for that

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Poster: bluedevil Date: May 10, 2007 12:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )


_/     |
|_ FURTHER _|
O O
"Nobody stopped thinking about those psychedelic experiences. Once you've been to some of those places, you think, How can I get back there again but make it a little easier on myself?" Captain Trips

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Poster: ducats Date: May 10, 2007 12:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Books ( Ken Kesey )

does'nt "what would be the answer to the answer man" sum it up?

I don't quite get the wild hollow part. Is he saying examine your guilt?